Air and Altitude Use the graph to answer the ?’s on page 125 <ul><ul><li>What happens to air pressure as altitude increases? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What does the line say about the air closer to sea level (closer to Earth's surface)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How could we feel the effects of the air at higher altitudes? </li></ul></ul>
Is there less air up there? <ul><li>There are a variety of factors that contribute to the human body's weakness at high altitudes. Our bodies were not created to handle the incredibly frigid temperatures, the high winds, or the lack of oxygen that are common in places such as these. Air temperature decreases with height, meaning that you will be much colder on the summit of an 8000-meter peak than you would when sitting on the beach in Miami. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
Is there less air up there? <ul><li>One common myth is that it is a decrease in the amount of oxygen that acts as the driver for all types of altitude sickness. The true cause, however, is the lack of atmospheric pressure. The air molecules are much more dispersed at higher altitudes, so there is actually much less atmosphere up there (contributing to the significant risk of sunburn), not just less oxygen! There is actually the same concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere regardless of elevation. The reduced pressure does not allow as much air into your lungs, which can therefore not absorb as much oxygen as your body needs. </li></ul>
Is there less air up there? <ul><li>Atmospheric pressure determines how much air is "pushed" into the lungs with each breath. </li></ul><ul><li>The atmospheric pressure at the summit of Mount Everest is about a third that at sea level. </li></ul><ul><li>Heart beat rate, breathing rate, and the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body, increases as the body acclimates to high altitude allowing more oxygen to be "grabbed" from every breath. </li></ul>
Pressure and the Human Body <ul><li>Video Link </li></ul>
Copy the following chart on page 124. Air and Altitude Temperature decreases with height Lower air pressure with height Increase in amount of UV rays Less atmosphere means less oxygen
Reflection Question – Page 125 <ul><li>What happens to air pressure as you go up through the layers of the atmosphere? </li></ul><ul><li>How does air pressure affect the human body? </li></ul>
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